Fighting the Good Fight

*Warning: Topics of sexual assault and violence discussed*

Alright folks, today’s post is brought to you by sugar, spice, and everything nice. This is, coincidentally, the ingredients to make the PowerPuff girls, sans chemical X, and they are a great segue into what today’s post is all about: Why I love being a lady. Before I dive into that, though, some housekeeping must be done. First, on March 8th it was International Women’s Day(IWD) and that is what prompted me to write this (that and my instagram poll). Next, it is important to note that not all ladies have a uterus. I happen to identify as a lady and have a uterus, it just worked out that way. To be honest, I’m don’t always identify as a lady, but I most certainly am a woman.

People’s ideas of what a woman is can get a little confusing. For example, Donald Trump thinks women are grab bags for his personal pleasure. *I watched copious amounts of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee last night and this post is also brought to you by her influence.* Other people’s definition of ‘woman’ means I dress in dresses and wear makeup and shriek at spiders. I mean sure I do those things, but that is not what makes me a woman. To me being a woman is something I know in my core. It is just as clear to me as the way I love. I can’t tell you how I know, I just know. Isn’t that exactly what love is? This imaginary feeling that comes over us and we can’t pinpoint its origin, but we feel it all the time.

That is how it feels to be a women. Possibly how it feels to be a man as well, but that is definitely not my area of expertise. So, when I got challenged with the task of writing down why I love being a woman, I felt a little overwhelmed. At first I thought, “my goodness… there are so many reasons”, but the more I looked at those reasons the more I realized those are just reasons I love being me. They had nothing to do with being a woman. That’s when it hit me.

The thing I love most about identifying as a woman is getting to identify as myself. It is the best way I know how to celebrate me. My gender pronouns are she/her/hers. Not to brag, but I have the same gender pronouns as Malala Yousafzai, Oprah, Laverne Cox, and Kesha. All women who have had battles I can’t even begin to imagine and that I feel proud to share even the tiniest amount of commonality. See, they have all worked hard to identify as themselves and now they are some of the most celebrated people. As a woman, I love to surround myself with other women who are just out there being who they are.

Of course, it is not always easy or safe to identify as a female. Girls around the world continue to be denied access to learning. Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head for defying the Taliban and demanding education. Tonya Harvey was shot and murdered for identifying as a transgender woman. According to GLAAD, almost 27 transgender females of color were murdered in 2017, just for being who they are. RAINN reports that college women are twice as likely to be sexually assaulted than to be robbed. These are not things I love about being a woman; these are things I need to be aware of if I want to identify as a woman.

These hardships birth a new meaning to my identity; I am an ally above all else. To me, my identity as a woman is linked to my ability to fight the good fight. Malala was shot in the head and doesn’t stop fighting. Oprah had repeated sexual abuse from a young age and doesn’t stop fighting. Laverne Cox suffered from bullies and tried to end her life and doesn’t stop fighting. Kesha was sexually assaulted and went on to write the song “Praying” (which gives me chills very time I hear it) and doesn’t stop fighting.

That is the final reason I love being a woman. We never stop fighting. Day after day we continue to put on our boxing gloves and get in the ring. We call out the rapists and murderers. We march for our lives, whether it is on the streets of Washington or in our own backyards. I will continue to fight for women everyday I am lucky enough to do so.

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,

A hive of honey bees.

I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,

They say they still can’t see.

I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
-Maya Angelou, “Phenomenal Woman” from And Still I Rise. 

 

Author:

I like short walks on the beach & feminism.

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